Studies on Twilight Phenomena
One of the most destructive and deadly volcanic events ever recorded occurred on August 27th, 1883, on a tiny island in Indonesia. The explosion of Krakatoa was heard over 3,000 miles away.
Beyond the horrible immediate effects devastation (the eruption caused 36,000 deaths), a huge plume of debris and ash was propelled into the upper atmosphere. This caused many interesting optical effects were reported from all over the world.
The oddly glowing skies extended for many years and captivated both scientists and artists who often worked in tandem to record and understand the phenomena.
A great example of this is a German book from 1888 — Untersuchungen über Dämmerungserscheinungen: zur Erklärung der nach dem Krakatau-Ausbruch beobachteten atmosphärisch-optischen Störung (“Studies on twilight phenomena: to explain the atmospheric-optical disturbance observed after the Krakatau eruption”).
Written by the German physicist Johann Kiessling, the book includes a series of chromolithographs (made from watercolor images) by the German naturalist and painter Eduard Pechuël-Loesche.